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Medical negligence claims involving severe injury and disability should always be handled by specialist solicitors. It takes experience and skill to successfully prove that medical negligence has caused a patient’s injuries, and to secure the highest levels of compensation.

We are experts in claims of maximum severity leading to permanent disability. We understand the medical issues, the cause and devastating effects of our clients’ injuries, and how to secure compensation in a way which meets our clients’ lifelong needs.

How do I know if I have a claim?

If you have suffered a serious injury which you believe was caused by medical mistakes, our experienced medical negligence lawyers have the expertise to advise you whether you are likely to succeed in making a claim for compensation.

The law says that a doctor, midwife, nurse or other healthcare practitioner is negligent if they act in a way that falls below any acceptable standard of care. The patient is entitled to compensation for any injury that was caused by negligent medical care. They are also entitled to compensation for the financial consequences of that injury.

What evidence is needed to prove a medical negligence claim for compensation?

If the NHS (or private healthcare provider) denies liability (fault), we must prove that their negligent care caused our client’s injury. In some very complex cases, it may be enough to prove that the negligent care made a material (significant) contribution to the injury.

We work with medical experts who report on any negligent care and the injury that it caused to our client.

The medical experts must examine the evidence and reach their conclusions in a way that meets professional standards set by the court.  They will often consider the following evidence before producing their reports:

  • the patient’s medical records, especially those written at the time of the treatment;
  • statements from our client and any other witnesses, including the defendant’s medical staff;
  • investigation reports from Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB), the NHS trust or GP practise;
  • evidence from the coroner’s inquest or pathologist;
  • relevant guidelines by NICE, professional organisations such as RCOG, or the defendant NHS trust;
  • research studies published in reputable, medical professional journals, such as the BMJ;
  • their own clinical experience as a doctor or professional in the relevant area of medicine.

Time limits for making a claim

The time limit for making a medical negligence claim is known as the limitation deadline. It is a strict deadline set by law. If the deadline is missed, the claimant may lose their right to make a claim.

Most adults have three years from the date of the negligence to start their claim.

Different rules apply for children or those with impaired mental capacity. Children may start their claim any time before they reach the age of 21. No time limit applies when the person has impaired mental capacity, e.g. from a  serious brain injury. 

In exceptional circumstances, the court may allow a case to proceed, even if the limitation period has expired.

We recommend that if you are considering bringing a claim now or in the future for your own, your deceased family member or your child’s injuries, you contact us as soon as you can after the injury has taken place.  By doing so:

  • we can advise you about deadlines, to avoid problems later;
  • we can help you collect and preserve essential evidence;
  • we can ensure that you have the best chance of recovering your full entitlement to compensation.

How long do medical negligence claims take?

The duration of a medical negligence claim depends on the individual circumstances of the client’s case. Claims take less time to conclude where:

  • liability (fault) is admitted by the defendant (NHS hospital or doctor);

  • the claimant’s injuries have stabilised and their long-term outcome can be predicted;
  • the injured person’s needs, the costs of meeting those needs, and other financial losses are straightforward and easy to assess.

Claims take longer to resolve when:

  • the defendant disputes that they were negligent or that their negligent care caused our client’s injury;
  • where a young child’s disability and needs are likely to change with their growth and development;
  • where the complex nature of the injury requires the input of multiple experts in different disciplines.

An initial full or partial denial of liability by NHS Resolution or other medical defence organisation does not necessarily mean that the injured person’s claim will fail. In more than half of our successful cases in 2019, we overcame initial denials of liability by the defendant, resulting in settlements for our clients.

We work hard to secure early admissions of liability. Once liability is admitted we secure substantial interim payments for our clients, to ease their financial hardship  and provide essential care, respite, specialist equipment, therapies and home adaptations long before the claim has settled. With liability judgments secured and interim funds in place, the individual and their family are able to focus on rebuilding their lives, whilst we work towards settlement of the claim.

Will I need to go to court?

Over 95% of the cases that we take on settle successfully without the need for a trial. Whilst we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will settle out of court, our experienced medical negligence lawyers take great care in investigating and carefully preparing each claim that we take on.

In rare circumstances, we may advise our client that for the case to proceed it must go to a court hearing. Our experienced and caring solicitors and barristers understand that this can be daunting for our clients and ensure that our clients are kept informed and feel supported.

What compensation can I get for injuries caused by medical negligence?

The law says that compensation for medical negligence should put the injured person back in the position that they would have been in if the negligence hadn’t happened, in so far as money can. Each claimant’s compensation is calculated in accordance with mandatory rules based on their individual circumstances. The differences in our clients’ injuries, pre-injury lifestyles and post-injury needs means that no two claims are the same.

In a medical negligence claim, the amount of compensation depends on:

  • the injury or disability that was caused by negligent care, and its severity;
  • the cost of meeting the individual’s needs arising from that disability in the past, present and future, e.g. for care, home adaptations, therapies and equipment;
  • the financial losses that were caused by the injury, such as loss of earnings;
  • how long it is expected that the person will have the need or suffer the loss.

Our clients often benefit from different types of compensation, including:

  • Interim payments – advance part payments of compensation, obtained as soon as possible after liability is established, to ease financial hardship and meet urgent needs, such as therapies, home adaptations and care.  
  • Lump sum payments – most final settlements include a lump sum payment, either as the full compensation payment or to cover capital costs when combined with a PPO.
  • PPO – periodical payment orders (PPOs) provide severely disabled claimants who have lifelong needs for care with the guarantee of lifelong, index-linked, tax free annual payments. PPOs can also be paid to cover other ongoing costs, such as case management or special educational placements.

Our serious injury specialists skillfully negotiate and carefully structure each client’s settlement to meet their lifelong needs whilst providing peace of mind and financial security.

Why choose Boyes Turner?

Our clinical negligence team are consistently top-rated in Chambers Directory and Legal 500 for our expertise in the most serious medical injury claims.

Our track record of maximum value, successful compensation claims speaks for itself.

We give clear, realistic advice whilst working hard to achieve the best outcome for each individual. We believe our clients deserve nothing less.

Protecting our vulnerable clients

As specialists in maximum severity claims for clients with brain injury, cerebral palsy and neurological disability, we recognise that our clients have additional needs arising from their vulnerability. Our solicitors and support staff aim to provide a professional and caring service throughout each client’s claim and post-settlement relationship with our Court of Protection deputyship team. Throughout the claim, we work closely with the parents of our disabled child clients, litigation friends, appointed case managers and our in-house deputies to ensure that the vulnerable client is properly supported. Anonymity orders and ongoing deputyship provide further protection after the conclusion of the claim.

Funding a medical negligence claim

Our clinical negligence team take great care to advise each client fully on the best way to fund their claim. Common funding methods for clinical negligence cases include:

  • Legal Aid – for birth and neonatal brain injury claims

We have access to Legal Aid funding for eligible clients whose severe neurological disability was caused by negligence within the first few weeks of life. Where a child is eligible for Legal Aid, we believe that it is in their best interests for their claim to be funded by Legal Aid. Parents have the peace of mind that their Legal Aid funded child will receive their full compensation without any deduction for legal costs on settlement of their claim.

  • No win no fee – conditional fee agreement (CFA)

In cases where Legal Aid is not available, we handle our client’s claim on a no-win-no-fee conditional fee agreement (CFA) basis. This means that our client pays no legal fees until we have achieved a successful conclusion of their claim.

  • Legal Expense Insurance

Where our client had legal expense insurance at the time that they were injured by medical negligence, their legal expense insurer may help with funding their claim. If you are thinking about making a claim, you should let us know immediately if you have legal expense insurance.

Recent cases:

  • A £21 million settlement for a teenager with quadriplegic cerebral palsy caused by negligent maternity care
  • A £19 million settlement for a girl with hypoxic brain damage caused by midwifery and obstetric mistakes at birth
  • A $23 million settlement for a boy with kernicterus brain damage from negligent care of his jaundice as a newborn baby
  • £950,000 compensation for a diabetic man with a below knee amputation arising from negligent GP and hospital treatment of Charcot foot 
  • £2 million settlement for a woman with respiratory disability from delayed diagnosis and treatment of TB
  • £800,000 compensation for cauda equina syndrome disability caused by GP’s delay in diagnosis

Meet your team

Susan Brown

Partner

Richard Money-Kyrle

Partner

Julie Marsh

Senior associate - solicitor

Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

Sita Soni

Associate - solicitor

Tara Byrne

Solicitor

Ben Ireland

Solicitor

Audrey Elmore

Medical records coordinator

Nicky Melville

Professional support assistant

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Boyes Turner were professional, helpful and responsive"

Boyes Turner were professional, helpful and responsive in all of my dealings with them. They kept me informed throughout the entire process and gave me sound advice when required. I would recommend Boyes Turner to anyone who requires legal advice in the field of medical negligence. I was happy with my settlement and I am grateful for their work to achieve the end result

Boyes Turner client

"Having never taken legal action before..."

Having never taken legal action before, I found Boyes Turner very helpful and diligent during my injury claim. When I moved to the USA during the case, they were still able to answer all of my concerns and keep me informed, giving me advice every step of the way. I would recommend Boyes Turner to anyone who is considering representation

Boyes Turner client